According to the National Retail Federation, the average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts this season, totaling over $465 billion. Americans will also throw away 25% more trash during the holiday season- that amounts to 25 million tons of garbage. That is basically 1 million extra tons per week.
But wait, there’s more! The fashion industry still comes in second place for being the largest polluter in the world(oil is in first place).
We, Americans, love our fashion. And to prove that love, we will do anything to get our hands on the latest trends; which might be the reason why America’s fashion industry accounts for one third of the $3 trillion global fashion industry.
The global fashion industry emits 1.7 billion tons of CO2 per year and is responsible for 10% of all pollution in the world.
According to the Wild Life Fund, it takes 20,000 liters of water to grow enough cotton for the equivalence of one t-shirt. And the process of making one pair of jeans produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car for 80 miles. How many miles do you have in your closet?
All of these devastating statistics are what drive activists, including youth, to take the streets with protests during this holiday season.
As we grow closer towards the end of 2019, activists across the globe are fighting more than ever, for people in power to step up and help save our planet. Black Friday was a global protest this year. Sacramento’s capitol was full of angry youth who demanded action from our leaders.
This past, Saturday, a local environmental conservation organization called Extinction Rebellion Sacramento, peacefully protested in front of Arden Fair Mall and educated shoppers on the climate crisis that the American consumerism-based culture feeds.
Cecile Martin, a local activist with Extinction Rebellion, explains the ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint when it comes to the holidays.
“During this holiday season we can be mindful that we are in a climate emergency that will affect the future of families throughout the world. We can reduce our climate footprint by buying less and asking questions about the high environmental costs of items. As 60% of the U.S. economy, consumers can make a difference,” says Cecile.
From thrifting, swapping, or keeping the clothes that you already have for just nine months longer, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
They say that this is the season of giving, and although expressing gratitude to family members and friends is a valuable and important part of our culture, giving back to the Earth will help the other life on this planet to continue to exist(including humans).